Initial shipments of Sony Corp.'s hotly anticipated PlayStation 3 video game console appear to have been lower than expected, American Technology Research analyst Paul-Jon McNealy said Wednesday.
Large crowds camped out for days ahead of the PS3's U.S. debut on Nov. 17. Supplies were scarce and some owners were able to flip their new machines on Web auction site eBay Inc. for nearly five times the $600 price of the high-end PS3.
Sony had forecast 400,000 PS3 units shipped for Day One of its U.S. launch and 1 million units by Dec. 31. The Japanese electronics giant, which dominates the worldwide console market with its PlayStation 2 console, also said it plans to ship 2 million PS3s globally by year end.
McNealy said his research indicated that Sony's initial unit numbers for its launch weekend in North America were in the range of 125,000 to 175,000, including some of the 15,000 units SNE was sending to retailers for interactive kiosks.
"This number is below our previously lowered expectations of 250,000 to 300,000," he said.
"We previously expected Sony to be able to still make a calendar year 2006 North American and Japan shipment number of 2 million, but those numbers are now under review," McNealy said.
Sony spokesman Dave Karraker Wednesday reiterated Sony's goal of shipping 1 million PS3s to the United States, and 2 million globally, by year end.
McNealy also said shipments of Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s Wii video game console, which debut on Nov. 19 and costs $250, remained in line with his expectations.
Nintendo plans to ship 4 million Wiis by the end of 2006.